Evolving from Information to Insight

Topics: Employment, Labor, Human Pages: 2 (672 words) Published: March 6, 2007
One important issue surrounding the increasing plethora of information, and the increasing need to manage information is the changing of our workforce. It seems that less than two centuries ago Adam Smith talked about the division of labor between humans, but with the increasing levels of technology and information management it now seems that there is a new division which is between people and computers. Also, there is a growing division within human labor itself, a divide between those who can and those who cannot do valued work in an economy filled with computers. As we progress, it seems that information technology is reshaping the U.S. labor market: the mix of occupations, the skills required to perform an occupation, the way work is organized and labor productivity. For most of economic history, technical innovation involved machines replacing humans in performing physical tasks, however cognitive task, the information processing that is a part of all work, remained largely as part of the human tasks, that seems to be decreasing and a lot of information processing can now be done by "machines that can think." The fact that technology and computers are replacing the need for humans is turning out to be double edged sword. I don't believe that computers have or will create mass unemployment, but they have created a major upheaval in the nature of human work. As recently as 1970, more than half of employed U.S. adults worked in two broad occupational categories: blue-collar jobs and clerical jobs. These jobs supported middle, and lower-middle-class families most of which were high school graduates. Today, less than 40 percent of adults have blue-collar or clerical jobs and many of these jobs require at least some college education . The computerization of work has played a significant role in this change. Had the rest of the economy remained unchanged the decline in these jobs may have created a lot of unemployment, instead computers have created a new...
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